Reem Ali is Peterborough’s first diversity, equity and inclusion officer

New position will provide expert advice and guidance to strengthen city's ability to serve diverse communities

Reem Ali, pictured in a 2018 video produced by the Greater Peterborough Chamber of Commerce for its 4-Under-40 profiles, is the City of Peterborough's first diversity, equity and inclusion officer. She will begin in the newly created position in July. (Screenshot by kawarthaNOW)
Reem Ali, pictured in a 2018 video produced by the Greater Peterborough Chamber of Commerce for its 4-Under-40 profiles, is the City of Peterborough's first diversity, equity and inclusion officer. She will begin in the newly created position in July. (Screenshot by kawarthaNOW)

The City of Peterborough has announced Reem Ali is the city’s first diversity, equity and inclusion officer.

The newly created position, approved by city council in the 2021 budget, will assist the city with addressing racism, discrimination, and the prevention, identification, and removal of barriers to access in opportunity.

“The new position reflects the city’s commitment to diversity and inclusion,” said Peterborough Mayor Diane Therrien in a media release on Monday (June 14) announcing the appointment.

Advertisement - story continues below

 

 

“For our community to thrive, we need to be open and welcoming to all people,” Mayor Therrien added. “Diversity of experiences, backgrounds and cultures makes us a better, stronger, more vibrant community.”

“As we see the historical and present-day experiences of discrimination and hate that have destroyed lives, we have a responsibility to learn, to understand, and to take action to improve our city and our country.”

Ali is currently the interim executive director of the Kawartha Sexual Assault Centre in Peterborough. Previously she worked as workplace integration liaison and community development worker with the New Canadians Centre Peterborough, which supports immigrants, refugees, and other newcomers to become full and equal members of Canadian society.

In her previous role as workplace integration liaison with New Canadians Centre, Reem Ali supported the Newcomer Sewing Crew. Pictured is Ali (left) with Fleming College president Maureen Adamson (front) and Madderhouse Textile Studios owner Leslie Menagh (right) with members of the Newcomer Sewing Crew showing off some of the Fleming-branded face masks created last summer for Fleming students, faculty, and staff. (Photo courtesy of Fleming College)
In her previous role as workplace integration liaison with New Canadians Centre, Reem Ali supported the Newcomer Sewing Crew. Pictured is Ali (left) with Fleming College president Maureen Adamson (front) and Madderhouse Textile Studios owner Leslie Menagh (right) with members of the Newcomer Sewing Crew showing off some of the Fleming-branded face masks created last summer for Fleming students, faculty, and staff. (Photo courtesy of Fleming College)

Ali has a wide range of experience working and volunteering with community organizations in Peterborough as well as internationally. Prior to coming to Peterborough, Ali worked in Egypt with several organizations to protect the rights of vulnerable children.

She received her Bachelor of Science in biology and chemistry from Trent University, her Master of Science degree in biochemistry from McMaster University, her Master of Public Administration in international development from Carleton University, and a certificate in ethics and contemporary social issues from Saint Paul University.

Ali serves on non-profit boards including the YWCA, the Kawartha World Issues Centre, the Peterborough Field Naturalists, and the Clean Slate Enterprise. She is also the chair of the Peterborough Regional Farmers’ Market steering committee.

Advertisement - story continues below

 

 

In 2018, she received the Greater Peterborough Chamber of Commerce’s 4-Under-40 award as well as an inaugural Women’s Leadership Award from Peterborough-Kawartha MP Maryam Monsef.

“I am very honoured to have been trusted with this new and important role in my home city of Peterborough,” Ali said, “and look forward to advancing this challenging but much-needed diversity, equity and inclusion work within the city and our local community.”

Ali will start in the new position in July.